The Assembly introduces the Intel Galileo to the community through a series of workshops
Have you ever wondered, how do you connect a remote control to work the garage door, or maybe create a smart lighting system that automatically switches on and off when you clap? This is made possible through the use of something called micro-controllers. While it has already started sounding quite technical, don’t sweat it – they are actually the easiest piece of the puzzle. This micro controller collects data through different sensors and then, in turn, communicate with a server, or a computer, to send the collected data for further processing. This server or computer could be locally present, or connected remotely through an internet connection. The most used microcontroller solution is the Arduino – a solution the world turns to, when they have to manage different sensors, and collect data.
Arduino is an open-source prototyping platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to read inputs – light on a sensor, a finger on a button, or a Twitter message – and turn it into an output – activating a motor, turning on an LED, publishing something online. You can tell your board what to do by sending a set of instructions to the microcontroller on the board. To do so you use the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring), and the Arduino Software (IDE), based on Processing.
Intel are promoting the maker environment all around the world through hardware, software, and other support resources such as sensors, partnerships, mentoring, and forums for open discussion. Together with Arduino, they launched the Galileo – a microcontroller board based on the Intel® Quark SoC X1000 Application Processor, a 32-bit Intel Pentium-class system on a chip. It’s the first board based on Intel® architecture designed to be hardware and software pin-compatible with Arduino shields designed for the Uno R3.
Innovation and technology were rarely associated with being available locally. In Dubai, the maker movement is picking up, and The Assembly is proof that there is some hope for the Do-It-Yourself-ers in the region. Intel partnered with The Assembly and wanted to introduce to the tech community that it is, in fact, VERY EASY to develop your own simple solutions. Intel also wanted to show the community how easy it is to start using the Intel Galileo platform for simple Arduino projects, as well as using it for advanced concepts such as automation and robotics.
Five workshops designed to take the community from knowing what the Galileo is, to being able to create a simple IoT connected game – all on the Intel Galileo platform. Each of these workshops was designed specifically for the Galileo, and facilitated by people who actually created and experience these projects for themselves.
The first two workshops comprised the introduction to microcontrollers and why they are important in a maker environment. Special detail was given to understanding the Arduino platform and how it works with respect to the Galileo development environment. These community members were then shown how to work with the Arduino IDE – a software platform used to code for the micro controller. Typically, this is a variation of C/C++, common programming languages, using simple logic functions to tell the microcontroller what to look for and how to behave given a certain set of parameters. Given that the Galileo was designed to work natively with the Arduino IDE, it was just a matter of showing how the easily the Galileo works with simple sensors and create simple connections using a breadboard.
The third workshop took the difficulty up a few notches. The participants were now coding on the IDE directly, creating connections using multiple sensors, and connecting them to a device to show an outcome, based on fulfillment of certain criteria. This showed them how to create automation systems that function based on no manual intervention.
The fourth workshop showcased how the Intel Galileo works with robotics. Robots are the best use case for micro controllers – given that they need a lot of different sensors and motors to work at tandem. A simple robot can be very simply managed through a micro controller, and this was explored and demonstrated to the participants of this workshop.
The fifth and final workshop was to show the use case of Intel Galileo in an Internet of Things type connected environment. The participants were showed how to use sensors and then code for them to connect to a server on the internet. Teams were made and each team were given one set of Galileo, Breadboard, and were asked to code for them to connect to the internet using the on board Ethernet.
At the end of the five workshops, Intel and The Assembly had, through example, shown exactly how robust and convenient to use the Galileo is, as development platform of choice for Arduino based projects. Given that it can also run a full Linux environment from the SD card, it could also function as a Single Board Computer – much like the Raspberry Pi and others.
The Assembly is all about empowering the community, through awareness of all the different technologies available in the world today. Through their collaboration with Intel, The Assembly is working towards making the DIY and maker concepts more believable and achievable in Dubai.